Thursday, April 5, 2012

More Sewing than Knitting

Made some adorable overalls for Em but they're too big. 
Kwik Sew pattern, JoAnn's fabrics.


and a dress version:


A top for me, cute border print knit fabric from Girl Charlee:

I liked it so much I ordered enough fabric for three more border print tops and completed one so far:

Crocheted a dress that needs to be lined which I probably will never wear
(it was supposed to be a tunic 
- someday I will learn to make a weighted swatch);
designed by me (star stitch), yarn:  Trendsetter Yarns Valentina (ribbon yarn).

One knitting project completed - a pair of Seed Stitch socks 
in Lang Jawoll Color Aktion obtained in a Ravelry trade:

Spent a week in January with my little girlfriend:

Enjoying the early Spring weather; this is the gorgeous red bud tree 
that a friend gave us as a sapling about 20 years ago:

Monday, January 16, 2012

2011 Year End Wrap Up


First a bit of sewing………….

My daughter pointed out that Mug Rugs are all the rage in blog-land.  She knows that quilting is not favorite type of sewing but thought I might like these as they are a quicker project than doing an entire quilt (which is true – but these are smaller pieces and still take quite a bit of time).

This was my first attempt, a quilt block known as Cathedral Windows, sewn mostly by hand.  There are no insulation layers in this block.  It’s actually a pretty cool pattern – the idea is to use a lightweight background like batiste and then holding it up so that light shows through you achieve a stained glass effect.


I wanted to make a gift for my awesome fellow GSLKG Board members and these Mug Rugs are the result of that effort.  Whenever I attempt quilting I fail in choosing prints that contrast enough to see the various pieces, but they still turned out cute and useful.




Next up is a robe made with a pile fabric from JoAnn’s, an imitation of the fabric known as Minky.  This fabric was not fun to sew even with a walking foot and basting.  It took three attempts to insert the zipper and in the end I did a hand-picked zipper. It was not easy to find a fuschia color separating zipper but I was able to order one from Purl Soho.  They provided great service and I wouldn’t hesitate to order from Purl Soho in the future.


For Christmas I ordered a set of bamboo crochet hooks for Jess and wanted to make a case to go with them.  I wanted to make one similar to this one by Lantern Moon but similar in fabric/look to Vera Bradley products.

Lantern Moon Turquoise Zip Crochet Hook Case Holder

The first version did not work out the way I envisioned and it ended in the garbage can.  The issue was with the zipper – how to make it zip all the way around yet lay flat when it's opened.  The key is that the zipper needs to extend beyond the juncture at the spine.  To stiffen the case I used a layer of plastic canvas between two layers of light weight batting.

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On to the Knitting…………

The last time I was in NC with Emily and family her socks kept sliding off.  I looked and looked for socks that I thought would fit her better and then it dawned on me that I could make custom socks (DUH!). These five pair were done with leftover sock yarns. Hope they fit!


Many months ago I promised my son-in-law a more practical pair of socks than the fair isle version I did for him previously.  I worked the first sock and then set it aside for six months or so.  Finally got the motivation to work the second sock in time for their after Christmas visit.  Not sure that he will have much use for wool socks in Florida but he liked that they were a perfect fit.

Lana Grossa Meilenweit Solo, 80 stitches, Size 0 and 1 needles, toe-up, short row heel worked over 44 stitches, stitch pattern Knit 7/Purl 3 rib.

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Ruffle yarns were all the rage toward the end of 2011 and I just had to make one.  It’s simply garter stitch (knit every row) using the holes in the edge of the flat wide ribbon type yarn as the stitches.   Truthfully the knitting wasn’t much fun; I did undo the skein and wound it flat around a toilet paper core and also worked purlwise as Brooke suggested but it was still a tedious knit although the result is a fun looking scarf.

Katia Triana from Kirkwood Knittery.  Don’t remember how many stitches I used but it wasn’t very many and the needle size really makes no difference.


Currently I’m working on ‘Blathnat’ socks, a mystery knit-a-long by Irish Girlie Knits;  it’s fun to occasionally follow someone else’s instructions.  Working the project in sections as the clues are published makes it enjoyable in that the socks are completed a portion at a time.  I’m working one sock from each end of the skein.  In the photo below the one on the left is the first clue portion and I’ve finished the second clue in the sock on the right.  I’m using the 72 stitch version until a couple inches from the ankle and then decreasing to follow the 64 stitch size for the remainder.  Also I am working an additional repeat as I like my sock legs  longer than the pattern instructions.  The yarn (Studio June Starstruck from The Loopy Ewe) is very glittery; it has quite a bit of fuzzy and thick/thin areas.

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I’m also working on the ‘Mitered Cardigan’ from the recent book ‘Knit One Knit All’ published by Schoolhouse Press.  This is a great book of patterns by the knitting guru of all time - Elizabeth Zimmerman.  She often wrote that garter stitch was her favorite and according to information from Schoolhouse Press she always wanted to write a book based on garter stitch designs.  After EZ’s death her grandson put together this new book sometimes working from sketchy notes.  There are several designs in the book that I would like to make including the Chambered Nautilus Tam, the Zigzag Jacket and Sideways Gloves. 

The Mitered Sweater calls for 6 sts per inch sport weight yarn; naturally I have had to recalculate the instructions since I decided to use worsted weight Ella Rae Classic from Little Knits that I had in my stash.  First the band is worked in garter stitch beginning at the bottom front,  up the front, around the neck, down the opposite front, along the bottom and then grafted together.  The sweater is filled in with stockinette and then stitches are picked up and the sleeves are worked down to the cuff. 

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Recently I finished this project which is my own design and appropriately named ‘RobynHood’.  I used Naturelle 8 ply DK 100% New Zealand Wool.  The front band was knit vertically in garter stitch then stitches picked up along the length of the band and the cape/shawl was then worked sideways in garter stitch short rows; there are 39 sections per half. The two halves were grafted together at the center back.  Then stitches were picked up at the neckline to knit the hood. The edging is an 8 row stitch pattern known as Godmother’s Edging.   After blocking I added the buttons.  I love how it turned out - it is quite warm and cozy.

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Finally – I have to share a few photos of our adorable Granddaughter celebrating her first birthday……..


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Friday, November 11, 2011

Annis, Rag Quilt, Baby ‘Leaf Pattern Set’ Sweater/Hat and Lace Leftovers

Here is the Annis that I wrote about in my last post.
It’s one of the ‘viral’ patterns – seems that nearly everyone on Ravelry has knitted one.
It turned out pretty but very small – more like a scarf than a shawl.
Another baby is on its way in our family.  
My niece asked if I’d make a rag quilt for the baby:
I also made the baby-on-its-way a Leaf Pattern Set cardigan and hat;                
I put a few beads on the stems, a little hard to see in this photo:
Ever Since I saw this stitch pattern:  Double Water Lily -  I’ve been thinking I need to come up with a project to use this pattern. 
I love all the stitch patterns that Olga Jasnovidova has posted on Ravelry and on her blog (  How generous to provide these charted patterns!
It occurred to me that I have quite a bit of leftover laceweight yarn in various colors and wouldn’t it be fun to see how it would work out to use this stitch pattern with the leftover yarn in an entrelac design similar to the Dianna shawl and my friend Brooke’s design Nuppopoly.
Then I decided to omit the four center squares which would make this a poncho.  I can wear it with the opening like a v-neck or as a square shaped neck. 
Worked a few rows or garter around the neck opening and a simple ruffle pattern (k1, p3 for first round, then increasing to either side of the knit(s) at every second round) for the edging. I really wanted the ruffle to be longer but after 7 increases there were so many stitches that it was taking about 40 minutes to knit each round; just couldn’t do any more.  At that point there were:  4 sides x 8 motifs per side x 16 ruffle repeats per motif x 18 stitches per repeat = … well never mind – I really don’t want to know exactly how many stitches that is, I had reached my limit.
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Next I'm working on making some socks for Emily; when I was there last month her socks kept falling off which says to me that they are too small so I've looked everywhere and the next size looks too big.  Finally it dawned on me I could make her some socks - duh - and then they'd be just right (kind of sounds like a Three Bears story about socks).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lapghan, Crayon Quilt, Baby Hoodie




I left this out of my last post because it really needs a good blocking; but since I never did do that here it is with all its crooked lines.  This is a rayon boucle yarn from Numei and the pattern is a Lion Brand free pattern 'Circles to Squares Afghan'.  It’s a nice summer weight ‘lapghan’.





Last year I saw this cute blanket pattern, Crayon Blanket by Melissa Dominguez, and purchased the pattern to make in the future.

Last month I spent an hour or so at Joanns choosing an array of brightly colored acrylic yarns (did you know that it's hard to find a bright yellow unless you're willing to use RedHeart). 

Three days later I had almost finished the first crayon – it was basically like knitting a scarf.  I tried to do the lettering in intarsia as written in the pattern (changing colors across the rows with bobbins of yarn hanging from the back of the work) - intarsia is my least favorite knitting technique; no way could I keep that up for 5 more crayons.  I ripped it back and decided to do the letters in duplicate stitch (embroidering over the knitting).  But I ran out of yarn before completing the last two letters.  Rather than spend more $ on 6 more skeins of acrylic yarn, I decided to ditch this project and returned the rest of the yarn.  (If you have the patience this really is a nicely written pattern and makes an adorable kid size blanket).

But it was a such cute idea - I really wanted to make a crayon blanket for Emily.  I decided to sew one instead.  Back I went for another couple hours at Joanns to choose coordinating fabrics, followed by an internet search to see what current Crayola wrappers looked like. Measured an actual crayon for proportion and drafted pattern pieces.  Cut all the pieces, fused interfacing to the satin portions and batting to the lettering, appliqued lettering to the black 'seal', appliqued the black sections to the color wrapper, sewed the ends and points to the wrapper, sewed the crayons together, made a quilt sandwich of backing/batting/crayons, basted it all together, and lastly machine stitched vertical lines between the crayons and horizontally at the joins. 

A few days to sew vs. a few weeks to knit.

Em's Crayola quilt:

I went to visit in NC the week before last (brought the Crayon quilt with me).  

I started a small shawl waiting for the plane on Thursday and finished it on Sunday - a quick and fun knit: Annis.   Its for a holiday exchange - a group of knitting friends bring a skein of yarn to a holiday gathering, everyone randomly chooses a bag of yarn sight unseen;  then each knitter is to make something with the yarn to be donated to charity and bring it to the next year's holiday gathering.  I was lucky to choose a bag that had a generous skein of hand-dyed sock yarn by local St. Louis dyer, Dyeabolical Yarns.  I love the way this shawl is shaped and am inspired to make another in a larger version in the future. Haven’t blocked it yet so will include a photo in my next post.

After I finished with Annis, there were several days left of my visit.  I had packed a beaded lace project to work on.  What was I thinking!! - a bowl of beads and a nine month old walking around the furniture - definitely a recipe for disaster.  Instead I went to Michael's and bought yarn to make a jacket for Emily, almost finished it before it was time to get back on the plane and head home.  Michael's had Vanna's Choice Baby on sale that week and the pattern is the Storybook Baby Hoodie by Lion Brand.  Hard to see in this photo but we found some very cute polka dot and striped buttons at Walmart (there are not many fabric notion shopping options in or near Havelock, NC). emily pink sweater

It's fun being Nana.  

Of course there's never been a cuter, smarter or more beautiful baby ever:

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